Iran’s 2022: A year marked by ongoing protests
Following a nearly two-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Iranians celebrated the new year in 2022 with nationwide social protests. Teachers and educators began the first wave of protests in April 2022. This nationwide protest was part of the teachers’ movement, which began in late 2021 in response to their poor economic conditions, demanding the release of detained teachers and activists, and criticizing the regime’s failure to address their concerns.
The second wave of nationwide strikes and protests was led by Iranian Social Security Organization retirees and pensioners. Retirees and pensioners began protesting in late 2021, demanding delayed pensions and higher wages in response to rising inflation and high prices.
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) January 17, 2022
In another development, the ten-story Metropol Complex in Abadan, southwest Iran, collapsed on May 23, killing dozens. Many experts deemed the Metropol twin tower, which is located in a busy area of downtown Abadan, to be a dangerous structure. However, because of his close ties to senior IRGC commanders and other local officials, Metropol owner Hossein Abdolbaghi dismissed many expert warnings as hallucinations. The regime also delayed assisting in the retrieval of potential survivors, further infuriating the locals. Protests erupted in Abadan and other cities shortly after.
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) June 3, 2022
In May and June 2022, Iranians poured onto the streets in dozens of cities, protesting Raisi’s economic policies, including the elimination of the so-called “preferential rate” of 42000 rials to a dollar. Instead of addressing people’s economic grievances, security forces arrested and violently assaulted many protesters.
Nonetheless, the regime failed to halt a growing public hatred and the explosiveness of society, which resulted from four decades of mismanagement, ineptitude, corruption, and oppression. This powder keg only needed a spark to blow, and that spark was Mahsa Amini’s tragic death in police custody. Since then, protests have raged across Iran, with people calling for regime change and abolition of the ruling theocracy.
For many years, the clerical regime has sown the wind, and now it is reaping a whirlwind. Tehran’s only real solution is oppression, which it has brutally carried out thus far. The persistence of protests in such circumstances confirms that the uprising is well-organized, as many regime officials and state media have acknowledged.
The Iranian people and their organized Resistance launched an unwavering campaign in 2023 to destabilize the regime and bring about long-overdue democratic change. The time has come for the rest of the world to rally behind Iran’s desire for a democratic state.